Learning From Three Examples of Bad Customer Service

We have all been on the receiving end of bad customer service. Whether we’re trying to cancel a cable bill, or a cashier loses patience with us, or a movie theater usher messes up an order, we have all received poor customer service. While some mistakes are simple communication errors or small misunderstandings there are things you as a business can learn from these experiences in order to make sure you never pass bad customer service on to your clients and customers. Here we will look at some examples of bad customer service and the lessons we can learn from them.

Learning From Mistakes

A bad review about a company’s bad customer service is not a good thing. Especially in today’s society of Yelp, Google Reviews, and Twitter, a bad customer service experience may not only affect the person receiving it but anyone who reads a review of their experience. However, those bad reviews can be used as a tool and a teaching experience to help improve business and, ultimately, get new clients and customers.

With customer service, mistakes are not the end of the world, if they are used to improve customer experience and to change how things are done. As a post on Mopinion states, “See the feedback for what it really is so that you can move on in a positive direction.” Use these reviews and feedback as tools to make your company better. Similarly, use the following stories as training tools to see where these customer service representatives could have improved and how to not make the same mistakes in your business.

Silence is Not Always Golden

The first example of bad customer service comes from Kate Nasser’s website, responding to her request for the worst things readers had heard from a CSR, “The 25 Worst Customer Service Stories to Train the Best CSRs.” After one customer explained her problem to the customer service representative, the rep responded, “You will have to go online to fix this.” The customer then responded, “Seriously? I am talking to customer service—a real live human being and you can’t do a thing for me?” The representative responded, “Yes ma’am, you need to go online to do this.” Then the customer asked the representative, “What, exactly, do you do?” Silence was the only response the customer got.

Even if the customer’s problem can be fixed by a quick stop to your website never let your customer service representative misunderstand the importance of personal interaction with the customer. Do everything that can be done for the customer and do not just pass the buck because it is easier. Quotas, calls on waiting, and call time should not be the determining factor for a customer service rep when interacting with a customer. Never be too rushed to help a client out in any way you can.

The Restaurant Manager’s Bad Example

Our next example of bad customer service comes from a blog post by Shep Hyken where the author recounts an awkward customer service situation that occurred at his favorite restaurant.

Peas and veggie soup

Hyken ordered his favorite pasta dish, one he had ordered countless times before. However, when the pasta dish arrived it came with an extra ingredient that had never been in this particular dish before, peas. Lots and lots of peas. The author reexamined the menu to make sure he had ordered correctly, and he had. This pasta dish was not supposed to have peas.

After a brief and friendly conversation with the server, she was about to take the dish back, but then the manager stepped in and stopped her from taking the food away, telling the author that the chef currently on staff added peas into this dish as a “pleasant surprise.” That would have been fine, but the author hates peas, so the dish was no longer appetizing. Eventually, the manager did take the dish away, but only after the damage was done.

Bad customer service can happen even in our favorite places. You never want to be the reason someone stops going somewhere because they had one bad experience. If someone is taking care of the situation, don’t stick your nose in it. Only step in if reinforcements are needed. And, most importantly, never make an excuse when an apology would suffice. The manager set a bad example of customer service for his employees.

A Slow Response Can Lose Customers

The final example of bad customer service comes from a blog on Userlike that examines the need for fast response times with online complaints. In this story, a man tweets about his bad experience with lost baggage at an airline. This man even promotes his own tweet so others will see it, but it takes the airline eight hours to respond to the complaint after the tweet already has 76,000 views and has been featured on another site. When they finally respond they tell the man he had tweeted outside their tweeting hours, which leads him to ask how a company operating 24/7 only tweets during business hours.

This is a simple enough story, but it illustrates a valuable lesson: respond timely to customer complaints. According to Twitter’s research, when airlines respond to a customer’s tweet quickly customers are more willing to pay more for their services in the future than if they respond slowly—because they feel heard with a quick response. Take a lesson from Twitter’s research and respond quickly when a chance for customer service arises.

A recent Help Scout infographic shows that 80% of companies believe they are giving their customers good customer service, however only 8% of customers in the study agreed. Your company’s customers deserve the best customer service that they can get. Contact ROI Call Center Solutions today for a free consultation to see what ROI can do for you.

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